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Amazing Work In Myanmar!

February 13, 2010 Leave a comment
NEVER have I seen anything like this before in my life! In Burma, young leaders from the Karen, Burmese, Kochin, and Chin people groups completed the Church Planting Manual. We had been doing a “shotgun” approach since 1996 but now we changed to complete the CPM completely and quickly so they would have a total picture of Paul’s philosophy of Church Planting, not a fragmented approach. All 63 lessons and projects were completed in three meetings, September 2009, November 2009 and January 2010.

Some confessed and repented of their old futile and feeble ways of church planting while embracing a new and fresh strategy that is built upon the sufficiency of Scripture and the Holy Spirit. The last day, they presented their own personal church planting strategy, not built on money, man or degrees but built on solid biblical timeless and supra-cultural principles (Part Six). I was amazed it their discernment in separating the absolutes with the non-absolutes of Scripture. It was so neat to see the Lord working into their minds and hearts a renewed boldness and confidence in sufficiency of Christ, His Word and the Holy Spirit to supply all that they need to fulfill their call in Christ Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20).

Many brought pictures of their village churches and ministries where they have been teaching through the CPM on their own, without any support or initiations from us. The Holy Spirit was already expanding and reproducing their disciples and churches. I can only imagine what is going to happen now as God using these dear brothers and sisters to multiply and build His Church.

Testimonies of young leaders, and Sherman and Tony, will follow. I have attached a picture (removed for protection) of the leaders receiving their certificates of completion of GPCP. You would have thought they had received a PHD from Duke or something. I thank our Lord for working through His Church to provide this training and tool in the Burmese and Karen Languages. Also thankful for the new laptop we were able to present to Michael in Burma.

Sherman and Tony are on their way back today from Laos. They have completed the CPM there and we will soon send you a report of our Savior’s amazing grace in Laos. Preliminary report is God has continue His amazing work there too.

Rich in Christ,

Tim

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Myanmar and Laos Trip Report

February 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Dear Friends and Supporters,

What a trip!  Since I joined Tim in the fall of 2008, I have not experienced such a wonderful time as we watched 25 men and women in Myanmar and 20 men in Laos graduate from the Church Planting Training.  First I want to thank each of you for your prayers while we were on the other side of the globe.  Without your standing behind us in prayer, we would not be able to make the journey.  By God’s grace, I kept healthy and there were no incidents to cause concern.

Our first stop was Chiang Mai, Thailand where Tim and I attended the SEANET Conference.  This is a good opportunity to connect with many from various countries in S. E. Asia.  We were able to renew a relationship with a brother from India with whom we can partner and expect that this relationship will provide better results than what we have seen before.  Please pray for Tim as he goes there in two weeks so that further arrangements can be made for effective CP training in India and neighboring nations.

After spending the weekend with Mike and Ellen (last name removed) in Chiang Mai, I met Tony in Bangkok, a young man who has been working through the CPM on-line in the US. He joined me for the rest of the trip to Myanmar (with Tim) and then Laos.

Myanmar and Laos
NEVER have we seen anything like this before!  Young leaders from the Karen, Burmese, Kochin, and Chin people groups completed the Church Planting Manual right down to the final project.  We have been doing a “shotgun” approach since 1996, but now we have completely changed the approach to CPM training so the manual is finished quickly, and there is a total picture of Paul’s philosophy of Church Planting, not a fragmented approach.  All 63 lessons and projects were completed in three meetings, September 2009, November 2009 and January 2010.

Some confessed and repented of their old futile and feeble ways of church planting while embracing a new and fresh strategy that is built upon the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, and the Holy Spirit’s power.  The last day, they presented their own personal church planting strategy (CPM Part Six); not built on money, man’s programs or degrees, but built on solid biblical timeless and supra-cultural principles.  We were amazed at their discernment in separating the absolutes from the non-absolutes of Scripture.  It was so neat to see the Lord working into their minds and hearts a renewed boldness and confidence in sufficiency of Christ, His Word and the Holy Spirit to supply all that they need to fulfill their call in Christ Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20).

Many brought pictures of their village churches and ministries where they have been teaching through the CPM on their own, without any support or initiations from us. The Holy Spirit was already expanding and reproducing their disciples and churches. I can only imagine what is going to happen now as God uses these dear brothers and sisters to multiply and build His Church.

Laos was much the same as Myanmar.  For security reasons, the arrangements were different, but the spirit and fervor of their hearts for taking the principles they learned from God’s Word back to their villages and teaching them to others was thrilling.  All of these have suffered in ways in which we have little concept or understanding.  Yet, there is a seriousness and determination with them that is rare and hard to find here in the west.  When the men were sharing their insights from Scripture, it was clear that the Holy Spirit had given them understanding.  There is very little in the CPM that gives any hint as to what they should take as truth and principle from the Word.  But by their own study of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, they grasp in a very short time what has taken me years to arrive at.  Acts 4:13 is still happening!  “They were uneducated, common men…who had been with Jesus.”

While we often ask that you pray for us on these trips and for those that we serve in various places, I am going ask you to pray for something more.  Pray that the Holy Spirit will kindle the same fire for God’s Word in us across America!

The scene as we left Vientiane was breath taking.  All twenty men were on their knees in prayer asking God to take what they had learned and through them deliver it to their churches so that ministers of the Gospel would be sent out to surrounding villages with the message of the pure Gospel!  One by one they left the room we had been in for two and a half days with tears in their eyes and a smile on their face.  God was sending them out to spread the Word!

Now we look forward

With the new approach to teaching these principles of church planting, I have a strong and abiding sense that the opportunities ahead of us will have greater significance than ever before.  The goal is that every unreached people group be presented the Gospel (evangelized) and that believers be establishedstrong in faith as the indigenous Church, that they be equipped with biblical leadership able to equip the saints for ministry, so they can be sent out to expandinto other unreached people groups.  For that reason we ask that you continue to pray for the following:

  • Tim’s trip to Delhi, India in February for a new beginning of CPM training in this vast country that will bring clear vision to those God calls.
  • The five-day CPM workshop the first week of March in Raleigh, NC
  • Possible return to China and Vietnam in April
  • Arrangements to be made for the CPM training in Arabic.
  • For continual clarification of our new approach to the CPM training so the Word of God will run and be glorified.
  • That we will continually decrease and become less in our eyes and in those we serve so that Christ might be highly exalted and the Word of God given its rightful place – personally and in the church.

“… for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” 1 Cor. 16:9.

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